Tuesday, 12 August 2014

The Legend of the Travelling Shoe

My dado has been a source of great knowledge for me. I can ascribe a lot of my little religious knowledge to her, she says my fashion sense comes from her, she says our tendencies to yo-yo diet also stem from her and over the years she has given some great advice;  something akin to girls beings pearls, and their shine being the IT factor in life. Aisa hee kuch.

However, the one of the single most important and useful gems of wisdom she shared with us was when we were very,very young. So young that I don’t even remember what age we were, but I know that this information I can ascribe to her. She saw one of our  shoes lying one atop the other and said- this is a sign, it means you will be travelling. I’m sure we must have hounded her like bats about how and why and the mechanics of it – “why shoes? Who says? What positions and angles are acceptable? Is it for sure? For sure, for sure,?”  And “aap ko kaisey patah?”. You can imagine I’m sure, two little girls chilling in their grandmother’s room in the late afternoon and sneaking prince biscuits out of her almari, intrigued by supposed magical powers of shoes.

In any case, from then on my sister and I took this newfound information to heart.  Many a times when we were young we’d put our own shoes in that position and take the other by the arm to show – “look, I’m travelling”. Or ask Dado to come and see- “look, I’m travelling”.  Of course that wouldn’t work since positioned our shoes ourselves. But let me tell you this, as absurd as it may sound- it works like about 90% of the time. Of course it’s about belief as well. I mean since I have believed in it for more than a decade now, I can always spot my shoes or anybody else’s shoes doing that. Many a time’s I’ll tell /ask my friends- ‘hey, you’re travelling somewhere (?) ‘, and they’re like totally not into my clairvoyant powers, and sometimes sneer at me, but I think that the loss is theirs since they live in a  world without magical shoes sending them clandestine messages.
I guess my eyes have been trained to always spot them.  And I am not kidding you, but when my shoes start doing that, the thought that I might be travelling starts taking a very real shape in my brain. Often it has happened that I have no plan to go ANYWHERE, and all of a sudden something props up. Of course there have been cases when my shoes are doing it and I’m waiting to see where I am going, and I go nowhere. To keep my belief alive, I say to my self ‘you took an internal journey’, but deep down I know that all superstitions have a certain a margin of error.  Some, in fact, many, of my superstitions have proved themselves to be wrong and not stand the test of time- like eating cake on birthday, so on and so forth, but this one has remarkably held its own. Possibly since it was passed down to my grandmother through her ancestors (I’m guessing), and hence holds the wisdom of ages.
Now I find that if I have travel plans and the shoes aren’t saying so – there is something terribly, terribly wrong.

All of this year, my shoes have been almost never apart. I would find them on many occasions one atop the other.  I would take them half seriously, and half with dread- where can I possibly be going? I just came back from thisplace/thatplace, trust me; they were true on many accounts. I don’t want to sound full of my shoes and myself and say 100% but that’s what it felt like.  I was in Dubai for more than a month, and my shoes kept doing that, and I’m thinking- “I’m already travelling, where more can I be travelling?”… well, one day, I woke up and took a day trip to Oman, quite randomly (but purposefully).
 Oh yes btw, the travelling doesn’t always mean- a luxury vacation, No! It could be anywhere, anytime. Even to Multan or some other village.  Once, I remember I was in Montreal- this is right after winter break. Literally within two days of winter break we went to NY. Came back from there, my parents ended up making a trip to Canada out of the blue. This is all, say, within two weeks of me returning from home.  Then one day, my shoes start going at it. I’m thinking ‘no, c’est impossible, how can it be? ‘.
I asked my roommate, ‘ Nor-my shoes keep saying this, where could I be going? I don’t wanna go anywhere!”.
Well, within two days, there was a plan and we were going to Toronto.
On a whim.
Against my will.
 I remember Nor saying to me, the eve of our departure- ‘remember you were saying, my shoes keep saying I’m travelling, where could I possibly be travelling? – Well, look!”
Although I was not amused regarding the trip, I was highly proud of the shoes. They had proven right once again.         I have many more stories like these, but ill spare you- I’m sure you get the gist;  didn’t know I was travelling until my shoes told me.

Now I don’t know whether this is superstition that you’d like to get into, but I would say you should, since it’s a super fun one. Who wouldn’t want to get messages from the universe when they are about to travel?

Things you need to know:

1)   There are no time lines. Only the near future. So if your shoes start doing it, just allay your mind that it could be in the near future. I think it kind falls within a month though (for maximum allowances), if you’re travelling three months from now- your shoes should be pretty calm and should do it like once in a while. If your travelling say within two days, they can be doing it ALL THE TIME.
2)    When I say your shoes- I mean whatever shoes your wearing, whenever. It is not a specific shoe that you decide will be the agent between the two worlds. Its any/ and all the shoes you wear. Basically I’d like to believe that you feet transcribe the message onto the shoes. So for example, if you were wearing your mother’s shoes and when you take them off they position themselves in THAT WAY- its you who is travelling , not your mother.
33)    You can’t take you shoes off in a way that they position themselves according to the superstition and expect to travel. Has to happen on its own, without any interference from your end. Learnt this the hard way.
44)   As a general rule of thumb, travel plans should only be spoken about once they are final, and only a few days away. No two-month in advance discussions, that’s just jinxing it.
55)   If you spot somebody else’s shoes doing it, it is your absolute farz to tell them they will be travelling, and bring the message of the travelling shoes to them. If they don’t believe it, then, well then you wait and watch. Time will tell them ( and cancel their plans).

I’ve taken quite  afew pictures of my shoes doing it, for your personal reference as to what they should be looking like, on a general basic level.

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